The 2018 edition of the Carling Black Label Cup between rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates has been called off due to the World Cup in Russia.

With the major world showpiece set to get underway in June, the clash between South Africa’s two biggest clubs will now be sidelined as the world switches its focus to the biggest national team competition on the planet.

A statement sent out this morning said, “The Carling Black Label Champion Cup will be postponed in 2018, to allow our new stable-mate in the AB InBev portfolio, Budweiser the King of Beers, to activate their global sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup, over the June and July period.

“AB InBev intends to leverage the company’s global sponsorship of the FIFA 2018 World Cup to bring fans a unique and engaging experience of the global showpiece. Activities are planned in South Africa throughout the duration of the tournament, over June and July, the period which traditionally hosts the Carling Black Label Champion Cup.”
Meanwhile, Grant Pereira, Carling Black Label’s Director, added: “We fully understand our consumers’ anticipation of the Carling Black Label Champion Cup as it has become South Africa’s most sought-after pre-season showpiece. However, as Budweiser is now part of our AB InBev family, it is the company’s intent to celebrate and support the activations around the FIFA World Cup and allow fans the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the tournament.

“Our commitment to local football, and the fans of local football, is stronger than ever before: In August 2018 we will launch our new partnership with the Premier Soccer League, which aims to bring our consumers an unprecedented fan experience throughout the season, across all 16 teams, and in 2019 we expect to bring back the Carling Black Label Champion Cup in a refreshed format.”

The Carling Black Label Cup commenced in 2011 and has gone on to dish out some exciting clashes, with the Buccaneers slightly edging their rivals with four trophies while the Amakhosi have clinched three titles.

It’s not known at this stage what Pirates will organise for the upcoming pre-season preparations before the 2018/19 campaign gets underway, though Chiefs will tackle Manelodi Sundowns in the Shell Helix Cup on July 21.